Summer is a wonderful time of year. It's a time to enjoy the great outdoors, celebrate with friends and family, and relax while the kids are out of school. However, fire and burn injuries do not take a summer vacation. Knowing a few safety tips and following these recommendations can help ensure it will be a safe and fun summer.
Campfire safety starts with planning where to put the fire, how to build it, and how to maintain it. Whether or not a designated fire pit is available, make sure the fire is at least 25 feet away from any tents or any structures.
- Keep the fire small to make it easier to control
- Have water or a fire extinguisher nearby
- Stay at least three feet away from the fire
- Completely extinguish the fire when it's time to put it out
- Use a fire accelerant, such as gasoline, which can lead to a fire quickly getting out of control
- Put anything in the fire other than wood
- Leave the fire unattended
While most people focus on the risk of burn injuries from flames, the real risk comes from embers left behind after the fire dies down. This is because embers stay hot enough to cause a severe burn for up to 12 hours after the fire is out. The best way to extinguish a fire is to pour water on it until it's completely cool.
Like embers, sparklers appear to pose little danger. However, sparklers can reach temperatures greater than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit—hotter than a blowtorch! The best way to avoid a burn injury from a firework is to avoid them altogether.
- Have a bucket of water nearby
- Keep fireworks out of children's reach
- Follow local firework restrictions in your area
- Leave the fireworks to the professionals
- Leave children unattended with fireworks
- Set off fireworks near dry brush
- Place spent or unused fireworks in a trash can without first disposing of them properly.
- Ignite illegal fireworks
There are plenty of other fun ways to celebrate, such as confetti poppers, noise makers, colored streamers, glow sticks, or bubbles. You can also enjoy a fireworks show by attending a large display organized by professionals who follow safety guidelines.
As weather gets warmer, fire incidents involving grills increase. Regardless of the type of grill you own, remember a grill can stay hot for at least an hour after use.
- Grill at least 10 feet away from the house
- Keep a fire extinguisher or bucket of water close to the grill
- Clean your grill after each use
- Leave a lit grill unattended
- Allow kids or pets to play near the grill
It's always possible for burn injuries to occur. When they do, be prepared with the four C's: cool, clean, cover, and call.
- Cool the burn area with cool (not cold) water
- Clean the area with a mild soap to prevent infection
- Cover the burn with a clean cloth or gauze
- Call for medical help if an injury appears to be serious
It is always better to be safe than sorry.